Update 30th May 2008: The Yadav brothers have been indicted with a life sentence. A closure for Neelam Kataras legal journey towards justice for her son Nitishs gruesome death? Not really.. for two glaring reasons. First D.P. yadav the politician father has pledged to go to the higher courts for relief. Second, as things stand today a life sentence even though it denotes ‘life’ and not 14 years as was prevalent till a couple of years ago, is actually a euphemism. For the rich and powerful, the sentence once it is in the hands of the State govts can be commuted, lessened and lead to remission on various grounds.
Neelam katara expressed displeasure on the sentence. She was expecting the death penalty not out of a sense of vengeance but if at all deterrence was the raison d’etre of this long battle, then a lifer in this case was a mockery. Nitish was abducted, his private parts mutilated and then he was set afire. This was not categorised as ‘rarest of rare’ case since it was almost dubbed as ‘honor killing’..a crime of passion for the love of a sister. Makes one wonder if we are living in the Middle ages !
The battle has been won but the war is certainly not over as yet for Neelam . Although the guilty have been sentenced, they have not been subjugated, if body language is tell tale .
Bharati yadav has arrived in India from Britain to offer solidarity. Contrary to all expectations she has declared her brothers to be innocent and termed this a political conspiracy against her family. Is this a case of being worldly wise or one where she has been tormented to the degree that her will, life, words are not her own. We will never know. Since it was through a telephone call to the journalist that this message was conveyed, aspersions have been cast on the identity of the caller. Was it in actuality Bharati or someone posing as her? In any case the heroine is Neelam katara..she has won the hearts of millions of Indians …at the cost of losing her son to such a brutal death.
Update 28th May 2008: The verdict is out. The Yadav brothers Vikas and Vishal have been pronounced guilty. Neelam Katara has been vindicated, a satisfied mother, as can possibly be under the circumstances. Bharati has lost all..her family her love and her credibility. This is a landmark judgement. Justice does prevail and is not a hand maiden to the rich and powerful. Despite strong attempts by the Yadavs to escape scott free, persistent and relentless hammerstrokes by the media, citizens and Neelam, law was forced to elongate its steely grip and nail the culprits. Kudos !!
Original Post :
It would make a tear jerker for sure were it to be made for the big screen. However, Bharati Yadav is in an unenviable position today.. that of a woman who has had to bear the gruesome murder of her beloved. As if that was not enough, she is the sister of the alleged murderers, as key witness is therefore expected to testify against them.
Nitish Katara. a handsome eligible, proficient young man, made the blunder of falling in love with Bharati Yadav, the daughter of a powerful politician/don from Uttar Pradesh, D.P. Yadav. Her brothers resented the match for reasons as clichéd as every other Bollywood film..class disparity. Love however, pays no heed to such obstacles. Or maybe it is that a couple in love goes through life with blinkers and rose colored spectacles, tinted to an extent that blood shot eyes of the world do not appear menacing or threatening.
No wonder then that the two carried on for four years living in the magic of their own world, oblivious to the cruel machinations under way,allegedly plotted by none other than her own brothers.
At the wedding reception of a common friend where they were both invited, they spent an enjoyable evening well into the night, celebrating, dancing, frolicking in carefree abandon, without the faintest clue that this was their last night together..nay last few minutes.
According to press reports, Bharatis brother Vikas Yadav, who Nitish had met on earlier occasions as well, under a pretext got him to leave with his cronies and himself. Nitish was never seen alive again. His badly burnt body was found a few days later, which his mother Neelam Katara recognized by his wrist watch.
In a rare display of fortitude and strength, Neelam vowed to bring the culprits to book. That she was up against a formidable foe and dangerous enemy was something she was not allowed to forget..but it did not deter her resolution. What she remembered was the gruesomeness of her sons death and she would not let them forget that either.
Running from pillar to post for justice for the last five years, exhausting resources of time, energy, money and emotions, she kept up her lone battle. As if fate was tempting her to evaluate her mettle, she lost her husband a few years after Nitishs death. But this brave woman a picture of dignity,quiet resoluteness, and determinantion took the Yadavs head on.
Bharati, the key witness, who till a few days after Nitishs death was alleged to have kept contact with Neelam, disappeared from the scene, whisked away to U.K, under strict vigilance. Despite repeated summons from the court, she failed to/was not allowed to return to India, even at the risk of being called an ‘absconder’.
Neelam katara, was hopeful that Bharati, would depose in favour of truth and her sons murder would be finally avenged. The day finally dawned yesterday when amid tight security, in-camera proceedings and hush hush arrivals, Bharati deposed before the court through simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to a few questions.Funny how life finally comes down to a nod this way or that..make or break!
It was made conditional from Yadavs lawyers, that from Neelams side she was the only person allowed to be present, that too after Neelam insisted..what was Bharati afraid of facing or rather who? The family of her ‘good friend’ or her cowardice.
Fom what one gets to hear, Bharati has refuted claims of any relationship theory with Nitish thereby eliminating ‘motive’ and has therefore turned a hostile witness.
Can we blame her? Its easy to get all philosophical and idealistic at such times and wax eloquent on ‘justice’ ‘love’ and ‘truth’ ‘integrity’..the list is endless. But one is not quite sure.
Its unimaginable the anguish, turmoil, dilemma Bharati finds herself in. The fact that she has been brought up in a feudalistic household is as clear as day. How can we as mere onlookers fathom the extent to which her life is controlled, monitored, programmed by her family? That her future is bleak both emotionally, and physically is apparent from the basic logistics of the situation. She was/is a loser from every aspect..caught in the trap of fiendish choices!
Had she implicated her brothers she would have melted under the guilt of her familys wrath and accusations. Now that she has not, she is going to die a thousand deaths perhaps, remembering, recounting days with Nitish, his mothers lone fight, and her stance which did nothing to appease anyone, neither her conscience nor her spirit.
‘Agle janam mohe bitiya na ki jo’.had quoted it on another story in a different perspective..but on hindsight find the cry to be arising from the same heart which pleads release from the curse of being born a daughter..punished for being born one and denied rights, even that of falling in love.
Whoever said the path of love was strewn with roses!
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers’ tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet..
Update 29th May : I notice that the above link posted yesterday now shows an error message. Plagiariser Charu Chopra who writes at ‘Hells pardon” ..Egawd ..having been caught red handed has removed the post without any apologies or clarification.
Nonetheless her efforts at covering her tracks proved futile.
Proof is available here..cached page.. Para 4 onwards is my post. Truth always shines forth loud and clear in all its brilliance.
Oh !! And apparently that is not all. Our friend Charu Chopra supposedly is too lazy to write even the first three paras.. these have been plagiarised from CriticKiran here..
Its only obvious that the last few paras, after my post too have been a quick copy paste job.. But I am just not inclined to playing detective any further to this abominable act..Horrendous.
All she should have done , if copy pasting was such a compulsion, was quote the source. That is what the CC license says. But she wanted to pass it off as her work..which is unethical.
Plagiarising is a serious offence apart from being reprehensible and therefore opine that offenders need to be exposed.